Afghanistan World Cup squad: Hamid Hassan recalled, Asghar Afghan included
Hamid Hassan (middle) has not played for Afghanistan since mid-2016. © ICC

Afghanistan have named former captain Asghar Afghan and Hamid Hassan, the 31-year-old fast bowler, in their squad of 15 for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Hassan has been picked in the squad despite not having played international cricket since June 2016. Most recently, he was seen doing TV commentary during the Afghanistan vs Ireland series in Dehradun in March.

In 32 career ODIs, Hassan has claimed 56 wickets at an average of 20.56 and economy rate of 4.55.

Asghar, who last month was removed as captain of Afghanistan from all three formats, has also been included. The decision to axe him as skipper did not settle with senior players such as Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan.

The squad of 15 is led by Gulbadin Naib. From Afghanistan’s last ODI squad, four players have been dropped – left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan, top-order batsman Javed Ahmadi and the two left-arm pacers Shapoor Zadran and Fareed Ahmad.

Asghar Afghan World Cup
Asghar Afghan was removed as Afghanistan captain ahead of the World Cup. © AFP

Also excluded are Ikram Ali Khil, Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad, but the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said that these three will be the standby players.

With Khil not selected, the veteran Mohammad Shahzad is the designated wicketkeeper for the World Cup.

“As chief selector, It is my duty to select a competitive team,” Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said. “However, there were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions. Luckily for us, the come-back of senior Fast bowler Hamid Hassan is good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches.

“It is has been a six-month preparation process for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The mission is to play inspirational cricket in the tournament; I know there are strong teams but we will do our level best to achieve our goals.”

Afghanistan open their World Cup campaign on June 1 against Australia.

Afghanistan squad: Gulbadin Naib (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman